Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Breast Feeding Support - I can help!

Breast Feeding is one of my favorite topics, one which is much talked about among nursing moms, but as I'm now realizing, not talked enough about among pregnant women! Case and point - My Sister-in-Law had a beautiful baby boy 6 days ago. There was much preparation leading up to the event - all steps were taken to have an ideal healthy pregnancy and a well-planned home birth. I remember a couple weeks ago having dinner at her house and asking 'so, are you ready for nursing?', and the reply was something along the lines of 'oh, yeah, that won't be an issue, I just have to prepare for labor and the rest will be fine'. In case you're wondering, i'm writing this blog post with her blessing:)
Anyway, in the last 6 days the nursing has not been easy. My sister-in-law had indeed read about nursing and what to expect,viewed videos online, but reality is often quite different, and without the right guidance and support, nursing can be a REAL issue. I have been to her house most days since his birth, working on latch. If you've never nursed, you may be thinking 'it's easy, it's natural'...think again! If you ask my sister-in-law, she'll tell you that the experience has not been easy, and not one that naturally fell into place. We are constantly trouble shooting with baby, and have made great progress, but it continues to be something that is worked at diligently at EVERY feed. We are working on increasing milk supply, increasing his interest in nursing, and of course LATCH (the most important element). It's like learning to drive a car - there are various elements that need to be learned at the same time to make it all come together! Mom and baby are still getting to know each other and figure out how it all fits . She is being persistent. She knows how important it is for him to get breast milk. Many women would certainly give up in the face of such incredible stress, especially during an already stressful period of having a newborn at home, and healing from labor. I am now realizing that when i hear a patient tell me they didn't nurse because 'it didn't work' or 'baby didn't want it' or 'baby was too hungry' or 'i didn't make enough milk', these are all just situations where mum didn't get the right support (I realize there are certain situations were mum truly couldn't nurse, so please don't take offense to my statements). As a mother and naturopath, I have decided through this experience that I will devote myself to helping women nurse. I too am guilty at focusing my appointments on pregnancy and birth, but not discussing enough about nursing, which is actually often the most draining element! Being such a close part of this experience with my sister-in-law has taught me a valuable lesson and has fed an inner passion to further help mother and babies!
I was asked to write this post by my sister-in-law because of her difficult experience, and her hope is that it can help other women obtain adequate support in nursing, if they need it (and to know that I can help!).

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.
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Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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